Réseau d’Acteurs pour le Renouveau de l’Education

Bamako, Mali   |   Non profit

teacher instructing student on reading at blackboard

Project Name
Our Children Learn to Read

Location Implemented
Bougouni, Sikasso, Mali

Organization Type
Non profit

Despite the Government of Mali’s (GoM) commitment to improve education outcomes, early grade students struggle to achieve basic competencies in reading and writing. In 2006, the State Report on the National Education System revealed that many students leave primary school without the ability to read independently and fluidly. Similar evaluations since 2009 demonstrate that Malian primary school students are still far from possessing the reading writing skills required to meet the Ministry of National Education (MEN) standards.

To address this issue the GoM developed a standards framework for early grade reading-writing instruction which includes training teachers in improved methodologies and strategies, the production and distribution of grade-appropriate supplemental reading and instructional materials, and reading assessment. The challenge in a low resource environment is how to provide support to teachers, especially in rural areas, as they strive to implement these new strategies in their classrooms.

This project aims to improve early grade reading by training teachers from 25 schools in the “balanced literacy” approach and providing them with ongoing support. The Ministry of National Education (MEN) in Mali adopted and incorporated the “balanced literacy” approach into its bilingual education curriculum to improve literacy instruction in the early grades. Through this project, selected teachers and school directors will be trained in the seven strategies of balanced literacy and receive a package of instructional materials in Bamanankan. Through the Stepping Stone application, developed by Education Development Center, teachers will receive tablets loaded with video clips of teachers in typical Malian classrooms successfully using the seven strategies. Additional support will be offered via refresher trainings and field visits by RARE program staff and trainers.

Project Reach
625 students, 50 teachers and 25 principals in 25 school communities

Education Development Center (EDC) and Malian Ministry of National Education (MEN)
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